Monday, March 31, 2008

Heard Them Stirring

Listening to monologist Mike Daisey feels like sitting in on an evangelist sermon, circa 1964 — except that instead of preaching about heaven and sin, Daisey aims his fire-and-brimstone discourse at corporate rule, capitalism, the covert history behind the Monopoly board game, and his childhood experience of visiting a slaughterhouse in Maine. The stage set is nothing fancy — just Daisey sitting at a table with a glass of water — but his repertoire of razor-sharp observations is all he needs to keep your attention.

Monday, March 24, 2008

She Brakes for Rainbows


Luke is the blond, 3-year-old boy who lives in the house in front of mine. He is so unbelievably beyond cute he should be manufactured by Sanrio. Of course I said yes when he asked me to go Easter egg hunting with him. First thing Sunday morning, I told him, since I had never been hunting for eggs and he seemed to like it alright. Sure enough, the little literalist took me to task and came knocking on my door at seven ayem the following morning. So I dragged myself out of bed to help him find some eggs.

Sometimes I think Luke is drunk, since his motor and verbal skills haven’t quite learned to keep up with his accelerated energy level. But when I see him that early in the morning, the whites of his eyes the color of egg shells, I know he’s never seen a late night in his entire life. Truth be told, he makes me nervous. He seems great, but I never know what I’m supposed to say to the fellow, or his 6-year-old brother, whose communication skills are only slightly more advanced. I guess we could talk about insects or dinos, but I’m always worried it’ll be obvious that I would rather be reveling in the glittered, feathered, plastic rhinestoned world of girlhood, discussing the merits of Ariel versus Jasmine.

Turns out there’s not much talking involved in hunting for Easter eggs. I poked around in the yard with him for a while, ate some chocolate, and went back to bed, not to be seen again for several more hours.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Don't Ignore the Potential

Spazz-punk band the Mae Shi follow in the footsteps of LA faves No Age, building their fan base through unremittingly energetic shows at the Smell. Their latest album, HILLYH (released by UK label Moshi Moshi), includes the killer single "I Get (Almost) Anything I Want" and a host of bible-inspired, lampoon-y lyrics spit with maniacal conviction. The raw enthusiasm of the Mae Shi's live shows leaves both minds and eardrums blown.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Nylon Smile


I welcomed my parents into my new city with one goal in mind: to make them like Los Angeles. I have that goal with all visitors, but it’s especially important with them, since they’re my parents and all. Over the course of three days they would grow to love Los Angeles, hate it, then love it again, as is the usual course for visitors and dwellers alike.

Upon their arrival, I took them on an accidental tour of east LA, but skillfully managed to navigate out of there before they were able to gauge the sketchiness of the situation. Moving through other activities with similar pluck, I even agreed to go on a tour of the movie star homes. We saw a lot of celebrities’ property that we could never, not in a trillion years, afford, but it was relaxing to be driven around by someone else for a change. Especially after being the chauffer to not one but two backseat drivers, their caring suggestions and lovable observations flowing in stereo for three whole days.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Glory


Together for over a year now, the boyf and I have a ridiculous amount of common interests. I guess that makes for high compatibility, like-minded companions or however you want to put it. Off the top of my head, I can think of only two activities the boyf thrives on that I just can’t get into: public speaking and competitive running. That is not to say I can’t get into him doing those things.

So over the past year, I have helped him train for the Los Angeles marathon. Not that there’s much I could do, since he’s the one running 26 miles, but I supported and advised. And wouldn’t you know the machine of a man crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 57 minutes, coming in at number 75, out of 22,000 other people. There’s no way I can describe with accuracy the emotions that spew forward when seeing someone you care about accomplish something that major, so just insert about 22,000 explanation points after that last sentence.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ramblin' (Wo)man

It’s widely known among Cat Power’s fans that her live shows are hit or miss. She’s often prone to fits of stage fright, mostly due to her soft spot for the bottle. At Friday night’s Wiltern show, however, she was surprisingly playful, engaging with the audience and backup band for almost two hours. I had expected onstage brooding and intermittent swaying, but she is a fine dancer, blending old school go-go moves with the occasional break to fidget with her army green button down shirt. The only downside is that she relied too heavily on her covers material, probably in promotion of her latest album, and only played a few of her older songs. Either way, I could listen to her well-worn voice recite the backs of cereal boxes for two hours.